New research by KIS Finance has revealed that consumers are worried the high street is going to be lost completely due to the current store closures in the news.
From surveying 1,000 consumers in the UK, KIS unearthed startling findings including:
•61% of Brits are worried the high street will disappear in the next ten years due to recent store closures in the news
•Northern cities have by far been worst hit by store closures
•Food and beverage, value and fashion brands are predicted to be the next victims of the high street
•If local high streets had free parking and easy accessibility, consumers would be more likely to shop in-store
As part of its research KIS mapped out which cities had been hit the hardest by the major store closures of the last year, including those announced already in 2019 such as M&S and Patisserie Valerie. This revealed northern cities such as Leeds and Glasgow had been hit far harder than their southern counterparts. The top cities impacted were:
By partnering with James Child, Retail Analyst at EG, we can see there doesn’t seem to be any sign of these closures letting up, he says: “It is quite likely that there will be a continuation, if not a proliferation of the negative headlines in retail. The raft of CVA’s and administrations in the sector has culminated in an expected 1,600 store closures across the UK, with over 18 million square foot of prime retail real estate vacated. When we break down the events of 2018 there are some trends which we could well see exacerbated into 2019 – due to fragile trading conditions and economic uncertainty.
There are certain sub-sectors that will face more pressure others. The fallout from the department store will continue at pace, with the future of House of Fraser, and Debenhams in particular should come to a head, a merger quite possible with a reduction of their overstretched portfolios. Food and beverage, value and fashion brands will come under more strain as over stretched markets begin to weed out weaker offers as retail Darwinism bites.”
When asked what would tempt them back to the great British high street, the top answers from Brits were:
•More staff to ensure that the experience is quicker (41%)
•Clearer stock check in store (34%)
•24-hour service so that you can shop at any time (27%)
•Self-checkout service to avoid queues (26%)
After asking consumers what they think the high street will look like in ten years, it seems that consumers are worried that independent stores won’t exist, the below is listed from most likely to least likely.
5.Fast food restaurants
6.Retails chains e.g. department stores
Holly Andrews, Managing Director at KIS Finance says;
“With store closures flooding our news-feeds recently, we were interested to find out what the future holds for the high street and how consumers’ shopping habits might affect retailers’ footfall. It is obvious from our research that people do still like going into store to shop, but it just isn’t as accessible as online shopping is.
To save the high street many retailers need to ensure that they are thinking innovatively about how to draw customers in with clearer in-store stock checks, more staff and extended hours during busy periods. The reason why so many retailers are struggling with their stores is because consumer shopping habits are changing and the high street needs to change with it, creating a more community led atmosphere with more accessibility and variety for everyone.”
After surveying Britain’s consumers and finding out what the high street could look like in the future, KIS Finance have collaborated with Sam Edwards, an illustrator from London, to visual these changes. The illustration can be downloaded from this Dropbox link.
Notes to editors
•Full report here:
•1,000 Brits were surveyed through Leadership Factor, by the breakdown:
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